I reupholstered my dining room seats in a fun floral a couple weeks ago. I knew what color I wanted (I am into teal right now), but picking the pattern was barbarous. I have an open living space, so my choice required to pair nicely with the stripes, florals and chevrons in my living space. I moved back and forth on several patterns; in the end I chose to simply match the colors, maybe not the prints — doing both was just too much to manage.
At the same point or another, we have come across an identical pattern issue: What goes nicely with my favorite plaid armchair? Can my brand new chevron ottoman work together with my damask bedding? Can I use polka dots, animal prints and florals in my child’s bedroom?
Finding the perfect balance is tough, but this pattern primer will provide you all the need-to-know details regarding your favorite prints. Two designers, Suzanne Tucker, cofounder and principal designer at Tucker & Marks, and Abbe Fenimore, principal designer at Studio Ten 25, discuss their expert insights on publish personalities, pairings and intriguing new decorating techniques.
Michelle Miller Interiors
Attributes: Versatile, on trend, daring yet relaxing.
Where to use it In tiny doses, such as on vases, drapes or pillows. Try out a painted or tile accent wall to make a statement.
Pairs nicely with: any additional publish, Tucker says. The trick: Maintain the colour palette consistent and balance the scale — a big and bold pattern, yet another small and subtle.
Pulling off it: To prevent a DIY appearance, combine it together with luxurious velvets, Fenimore suggests. It also pairs nicely with metallics and stone tones, especially when used as art.
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Kerrisdale Design Inc
Attributes: Romantic, timeless, light and airy.
Where to use it Everywhere! Wallpaper, draperies, bedding, upholstery and cushions.
Pairs nicely with: A stripe that pulls out a less-obvious colour in the floral pattern — which way the space will appear less “decorated”
Pulling off it: “Center a large-scale floral pattern on smaller pieces for a fantastic effect,” Tucker says.
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Erika Bierman Photography
Attributes: Global, eclectic, exotic, earthy, adventurous, handmade looking.
Where to use it Pillows, dining chair cushions, drapes.
Pairs nicely with: Stripes, tone-on-tone images and strong silks, Fenimore states.
Pulling off it: “Ikats create a fantastic surprise lining on a more traditional drapery therapy, or as one facet of portieres because you pass through,” Tucker says.
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Kropat Interior Design
Attributes: A true chameleon. Energetic, retro, daring, bohemian, but warm and cozy.
Where to use it Curtains, curtain linings, walls and upholstery
Pairs nicely with: Herringbone.
Pulling off it: “Use large scale to get a daring and playful appearance,” Tucker says. “Maintain your paisleys tonal to get a more transitional appearance.”
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Abbe Fenimore Studio Ten 25
Attributes: Eclectic, sassy, daring, lively, glamorous.
Where to use it Rugs, pillows, bedding, background, drawer liners and art.
Pairs nicely with: Shimmery velvets and nubby linens, Fenimore states.
Pulling off it: “There is a very fine line between posh and sleazy, so purchase the best — it has to be top quality,” Tucker says.
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Tom Stringer Design Partners
Attributes: Entertaining, happy, outgoing and playful.
Where to use it Rugs, pillows and accent pieces — on a small or large scale.
Pairs nicely with: Likewise colored stripes and plain colors, as long as they do not compete.
Pulling off it: “Steer clear of giant polka dots, or you will seem like a game of Twister,” Tucker says.
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Tucker & Marks
Attributes: Buttoned-up classic and conservative; French, English and Scottish feel.
Where to use it Upholstery pieces and headboards with straight lines; silk drapes when paired with vibrant colors.
Pairs nicely with: Likewise colored florals and strong colors.
Pulling off it: “Pay attention to matching the pattern exactly — nothing seems worse than a badly sewn or mismatched plaid,” Tucker says.
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Attributes: Tailored, formal, French.
Where to use it Upholstery on big pieces, such as chairs and sofas; stencil patterns; etched glass; iron gates.
Pairs nicely with: Solids, stripes and chevrons, but maybe not herringbone, Tucker says.
Pulling off it: To get a look that’s much less formal, more eclectic and edgier, look for quatrefoil prints which incorporate at least three colors, Fenimore states.
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Jane Lockhart Interior Design
Attributes: Demure, subdued, versatile, traditional.
Where to use it Metallic background and on flooring and draperies.
Pairs nicely with: Florals, stripes, solids and plaids — everything except another damask or routine with the exact same scale.
Pulling off it: “An authentic woven damask can be employed on the opposite too, with subtle differences in coloration,” Tucker says.
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Attributes: Adventurous, bold, natural, forgiving, natural.
Where to use it Small Designs, such as upholstered ottomans, beanbag chairs and puppy beds (great for concealing all that hair).
Pairs nicely with: Solids, stripes, plaids and chevrons.
Pulling off it: “Treat camouflage as a strong,” Tucker says. “Maintain the colour palette neutral and sophisticated.”
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